Q: Does the defendant need permission from the prosecutor to have witnesses? Do they have any say in who it can & cant be?
If the prosecutor doesn't want the defendant to bring any witnesses will that have any affect?
A: There is a time and a place to bring witnesses. The prosecutor does not have a say in it. Witnesses are normally not called unless a contested motion or trial is scheduled. A prosecutor may say it is not a hearing in which witnesses would be heard. For example, if the hearing is an arraignment (first appearance) or a pretrial conference, witnesses will probably not be heard, and the prosecutor could say not to bring them. However, the defendant should NEVER discuss matters with the prosecutor without a lawyer to handle the conversations. If the case is set for trial, and the defendant wants to call witnesses, they can be subpoenaed. It is best to let a lawyer handle this to make sure the proper procedure is followed. Again, the prosecutor cannot prevent a defendant from having witnesses. Eventually, it is up to the judge to decide what persons are called, and up to the defendant and defense attorney to make sure the proper procedures are followed in subpoenaing and calling witnesses. If the procedures are not followed, this might result in the witnesses failing to appear, or the prosecutor objecting to the testimony. However, the final decision rests with the judge.
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